DAVID BOWIE – ” ChangesNowBowie ” Record Store Day 2020

Posted: June 2, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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CHANGESNOWBOWIE is a 9-track session recorded for radio and broadcast by the BBC on David’s 50th birthday on 8th January, 1997. The broadcast originally featured an interview with David by Mary Ann Hobbs interspersed with specially recorded birthday messages and questions from the likes of Scott Walker, Damon Albarn, Bono, Robert Smith and many more. The interview and birthday messages do not feature on this album. This mostly acoustic session was a stripped back affair featuring some of David’s favourites of his own compositions and was produced by Bowie himself, Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati.

The first greatest-hits set was called Changesonebowie, and the title has proven irresistible to his compilers: That collection was followed by 1981’s Changestwobowie, 1990’s Changesbowie, and 1997’s radio special ChangesNowBowie. Interspersing clips of a long interview with Mary Anne Hobbs with exclusive performances recorded during November 1996 rehearsals for his 50th-birthday concert at Madison Square Garden, ChangesNowBowie originally aired on BBC Radio 1 the week of Bowie’s birthday. Bowie was feeling valedictory at the time, a mood that came through in both the musing interviews and the laid-back performances, backed only by guitarist Reeves Gabrels, bassist/vocalist Gail Ann Dorsey, and keyboardist Mark Plati.

The Hobbs-hosted show circulated intact on bootlegs for years, and the official LP was initially slated as a Record Store Day 2020 exclusive. Thanks to COVID-19, the physical release was pushed back, but the digital version is here, and the sanctioned release differs from the fans-only versions in substantial ways. All the interview segments with Hobbes have been excised, as have the birthday wishes from his peers and acolytes, leaving a tight 32 minutes of music—nine songs that appear in a different order than they did in the broadcast.

In strict terms of listenability, all the edits are logical. Radio requires a different rhythm than an album, and the BBC Radio 1 broadcast sometimes bogged down in discussions, albeit many of them fascinating. The show hit its emotional peak with a greeting from Scott Walker, who thanked Bowie “for your generosity in spirit when it comes to other artists. I’ve been the beneficiary on more than one occasion, let me tell you,” a sentiment that left Bowie speechless and teary. It was the one time he let his guard slip in the interview. Throughout the rest of the broadcast, he was garrulous and charming, sounding utterly comfortable embracing his role as an elder statesman of rock.

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